Best Picks 2021


As Covid and its variants continue to rage 2021 has been a particularly challenging year to access books, with libraries in lockdown, titles rescheduled for publication, and delays in supply and delivery, choices have been somewhat limited. Nevertheless I have continued to be curious about place, ecocentrism and anthropocentrism, and indulge in Australian crime-noir.  My favourite reads this year have not only informed, inspired, and entertained but also kept me sane.  Here’s hoping for a better 2022!

  1. Flyn, Cal (2021) Islands of Abandonment: Life in the Post-Human Landscape. This is an  extraordinary book about a myriad of abandoned places, places where humans no longer go and what happens when nature is allowed to reclaim its place. September-October 2021 Picks.
  2. Kolbert, Elizabeth (2021) Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future.  An insightful look at well-intentioned human interventions and its impact on the balance of nature.  April 2021 Picks.
  3. Philyaw, Deesha (2020) The Secret Lives of Church Ladies. Nine seductive stories of black women who are caught between the church’s double standards and their own wants and needs. April 2021 Picks.
  4. Heller, Miranda Cowley (2021) The Paper Palace. A rich narrative about secrets and love set in a decaying family compound in the backwoods of Cape Cod. December 2021 Picks.
  5. Disher Garry (2020) Consolation. An authentic policing tale of the constant struggle to keep a rural south Australian community safe. January 2021 Picks.
  6. Haynes, Natalie (2020) Pandora’s Jar: Women in the Greek Myths. A fascinating exploration of the one-sided narratives of ten of the most vilified and overlooked women in classical literature. May 2021 Picks.
  7. Bailey, Sarah (2021) The Housemate. A riveting and skilful stand-alone procedural thriller of a baffling homicide cold case. September-October 2021 Picks.
  8. Solomon, Mark (2021) Mana Whakatipu: Ngāi Tahu leader Mark Solomon on leadership and life. An impactful memoir on the influence of wise and considered leadership on the Māori world and beyond. November 2021 Picks.
  9. Ord, Toby (2020) The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity. Illuminates the challenges of our time and examines the scientific evidence behind our risk landscape to safeguard humanity’s future. January 2021 Picks.
  10. Hammer, Chris (2021) Treasure & Dirt. Evocative Australian police procedural set in the blistering heat of an outback town. November 2021 Picks.


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